Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Culture | By Glenn Strickland

#BRUHNews: South African Triathlete Attacked With Chainsaw, Will Walk Again

#BRUHNews: South African Triathlete Attacked With Chainsaw, Will Walk Again

Gwala, from rural Ndwedwe, competed in two worldwide triathlons in the Netherlands and the US last year, and was also a competitor in the Chicago ITU Aquathlon World Championships in September - a discipline consisting of consecutive swimming and running.

Gwala was training near the University of KwaZulu-Natal at about 3.15am on Tuesday, when he was approached by three men who dragged him into the surrounding bushes.

On Wednesday, the 26-year-old underwent surgery at a private hospital.

Olympian Henri Shoeman, who won bronze for South Africa in 2016, also sent his well wishes to Gwala.

Gwala, who has since undergone surgery to fix the damage inflicted on his legs, was dragged off the road by the trio whilst on a training ride in Durban, and the assailants attempted to cut of his legs with the blunt saw. His assailants then began to saw into his right calf.

His friend and training partner, Sandile Shange said the operation had been a success.

"They kept on cutting and when they got to the bone, because the saw was not that sharp, the saw got stuck", he continued.

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"When he spoke to doctors they said they will be able to save his leg and he will be able to walk and run again but it is a long walk to recovery", Shange said.

"He thought they wanted to rob him of his phone, his watch or the bicycle, so he offered it all to them but they did not want that. He dragged himself out of the bush onto the road and a private security vehicle picked him up and took him to the nearest hospital", said Dennis Jackson‚ director of the Elite Athlete Development program that Gwala is a part of, via Times Live.

"He just wanted it to stop. But they didn't say anything else and just pulled me into the bushes where they started doing what they did to me".

"He is a strong-minded person and he has been blown away by the support shown by fellow South Africans", he said. "They were speaking something else".

The men were just starting on the other leg, his left, when they were interrupted by a security guard with a flashlight. "He probably won't be able to compete in his upcoming event".

Gwala survived the attack when his assailants suddenly fled, leaving him to crawl back to the road and seek help. "He is a wonderful ambassador for the sport".

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